Contractor and part-time sleuth Shannon Hammer specializes in improving the quirks and flaws of the Victorian homes in Lighthouse Cove, California. The quirks and flaws of their residents are another story….
Valentine’s Day is approaching, and while Shannon is delighted to be friends with not one but two handsome men, not everyone in town is feeling the love. After her elderly neighbor Jesse Hennessey fails to make his daily appearance at the local diner, Shannon swings by his place to check on him. Not only does she find Jesse dead—of an apparent heart attack—but she also realizes that his home has been ransacked.
Someone suggests that a thief was searching for a priceless necklace Jesse claimed to have retrieved from a capsized sailing ship, but Shannon doesn’t believe it. Everyone knows Jesse had a penchant for constructing tall tales—like the one about him having a hot new girlfriend. But his death is soon ruled a homicide, and shady suspects begin popping out of the woodwork. When another victim turns up dead, Shannon is convinced she must find the killer before someone else gets nailed….
A lifelong love of old books and an appreciation of the art of bookbinding led Kate to create the Bibliophile Mysteries, featuring rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery and murder. Kate is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America. She loves to drink good wine and watch other people cook.
The Real Story
For award-winning author Kate Carlisle, the gleaming brass ring of publication eluded her grasp for the longest time. People were starting to talk. Was it simply bad luck? Bad timing? Bad writing? Bad hair? A panel of experts were convened to analyze the details of Kate’s life and certain patterns began to emerge that clearly indicated…well, let’s just call them Bad Choices. Yes, Kate made some wrong moves on her personal path to publication, and in the interests of full disclosure–and as a cautionary tale–the highlights are listed below.
The Early Years
Kate was born in Los Angeles, California. Need we say more? Name one famous author who was born in Los Angeles. You can’t do it. Why? Because all really famous authors are born somewhere else. A rural town in upstate Michigan, a crab shack on the Eastern shore, somewhere on the prairie, in a bayou, on the frozen tundra. Anywhere but LA.
And yet, despite this almost overwhelming handicap, Kate was born with good skin and a naturally attractive telephone voice which led her parents to wonder if she might have a future in either cosmetology or telephone solicitation.
Growing up, Kate and her family moved every few years. She would tell new teachers she was a Navy brat, but the truth is, her father’s mounting gambling debts often forced the family to escape in the night with whatever they could carry on their backs. Kate learned to sleep with her favorite toys clutched in her arms, which may explain why her beloved Baldhead Barbie remains in Kate’s special toy collection to this day.
Kate’s creativity with scissors, not to mention her uncanny ability to tell great whopping lies, alarmed her parents enough that they sent Kate off to be educated by the nuns.
When Good Things Happen to Bad Girls
Thus began Kate’s long and desperate search for a creative outlet and a good haircut. Chafing under the authoritarian rule of Sister Mary Cletus at Holy Rosary Academy, Kate escaped by making up stories. One of her favorites was a tale about a wild pony who rescued a strange, lonely farm girl with a bad haircut. Given their daughter’s fascination with ponies, Kate’s parents thought she might grow up to be a bookie like her Uncle Jerry.
As a teenager, Kate fell in with the wrong crowd. She grew big hair and started flirting with boys, but her school spirit never waned. In fact, Kate’s sophomore class at Holy Rosary won a trip to Safari World for selling the most chocolate almond bars, due mainly to Kate’s strategy of selling her candy bars to sailors at the downtown bus station. When Kate would ask if they’d like to buy some candy, the sailors would invariably respond, “Is your name Candy?” Her mother held out hope that Kate might someday find her niche in Sales.
Lying For Fun and Profit
But Sales weren’t on Kate’s radar. Instead, a friend got her a job on a game show and Kate grabbed that opportunity with both hands. She dropped out of college, bleached her hair and went on to spend years in production working on countless films and television shows, hanging out with rock stars and partying with the beautiful people.
But Kate realized she was losing her grip on what was truly important in life. She quit show biz and gave herself a permanent wave. Forsaking her worldly goods, she joined a cult. It worked out well at first. The cult leader owned a vineyard. But within months, the grapes were picked, the wine was drunk, and Kate’s hair was losing its wave. It was time to move on. But where to go? What to do? Kate decided to seek professional guidance. After relating her life story to her therapist and lamenting that she’d run out of options, the woman gave her a dirty look and called her a big fat liar. Liar? Kate shouted “Eureka!” and applied to law school.
All The Right Moves…Really
During her first year of law school, Kate again turned to writing as a way of escaping the drudgery of studying because, let’s face it, she wasn’t the greatest student in the world. But this time there were no stories of wild ponies or lonely little girls with bad haircuts. No, this time her stories were filled with hot, lusty men and smart, spunky women investigating murders and falling in love. There was danger and adventure and treachery…and sex!
Faster than you can say res ipsa loquitur, Kate dropped out of law school and signed up for writing classes. She joined Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America where she met lots of wonderful writers and made fabulous friends. She wrote books and attended writers’ conferences and sent out query letters and entered writing contests in hopes of selling her manuscripts to the perfect publisher.
And one day, Kate walked out of the hair salon with the best haircut she’d ever received. The sun was shining, the air was clean, the planets were aligned, and suddenly her phone rang. It was “The Call.” Kate became a published author that day. Her destiny was fulfilled. And her hair was perfect.